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God has gone up with a shout – The Ascension

May 12, 2010

With the Ascension God’s reconciliation with the race of men was achieved in full.  The old enmity was abolished,  the long war was ended. This had continued not because God hated man, but because  man  was indifferent and ungrateful. And now, the change has not occurred because of our accomplishments or because of changed attitudes and behavior, but because of the immeasurable love and concern of God for us…
Now at the Ascension, we who were unworthy of dwelling in paradise, we who ended up not even deserving to live on earth, causing the great flood and the loss of the whole human race except for the family of Noah, we, who are undeserving and unworthy, now ascend to heaven. Of old the Cherubim guarded Paradise so we could not return and now we exceed them. Human nature, in the person of Christ, received honour which was not given to the nature of angels. God became man. He did not become an angel. He united with human nature alone. And the angels do not envy, rather they rejoice, because the joy of angels is our good fortune and their pain our wretchedness.

St. John Chrysostom

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

Ephesians 4:4-10

Learn more:
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
Icons in Sound Podcast: God has gone up with a shout: The Ascension


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